Student news site of New Ulm High School

It’s What a Man’s got to Do

December 20, 2017

What is Selective Service System? The Selective Service System is an independent agency of the United States Government that maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription, men from the age of eighteen to twenty five.

I asked Ryan Ziemer, a guidance counselor at New Ulm Public High school, what the Selective service exactly was and he said: “Well, it’s part of the Government that I think wants to gather information, Ugh it sounds so bad..”. Yes it does sound bad how the Government wants to gather information about us.

Asked if it was like a type of draft, Mr. Ziemer said: “If it were to come down to a draft, yes it would come into play, but the United States hasn’t needed a draft since like the Vietnam War.” That is very true, but is also kind of scary that we would even need to think about a huge war where we would need to “draft” our men to fight for something so big. We already have so many men and women enlisted in the military who are already off in other parts of the country defending our nation.

On their website, the agency says their mission is “…To furnish manpower to the Defense Department during a national emergency, to manage alternative service for men classified as conscientious objectors, and to register, with only a few exceptions, all male U.S. citizens and male immigrants residing in the United States who are ages 18 through 25…”. What this means is that in the event of a national emergency, such as a war or a major attack, where we would need more people to fight, those on the draft list would come in to help.

Females are not required to register under the current law. Also men twenty six and older are too old to register with the Selective Service.

Men who turn 18 will need to register. The Selective Services System agency headquarters is located in Virginia and was founded on May 18th, 1917. The annual budget for the agency is 24 million a year as of 2012. The agency executive and director is Donald M. Benton. As of July 1st, 2015, 40 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia have enacted driver’s license laws supporting Selective Service registration except for Maine, Maryland and Puerto Rico. The reason they do the required registration with the drivers license is to increase public awareness of the registration requirement and ensure recipients of public funds are in compliance with federal law.

Mr. Ziemer added: “Anybody who completes their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), will see a section asking if you are male. It basically takes you straight to the Selective Service page, then you just complete the process right there.” So basically if you would like help paying for college and you are 18 or older and a male you must sign up for Selective Service System in order to get the help you need.

On May 13th, 2004, Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a law saying any person under the age of 26 who meets the conditions for Selective Service under federal law and who applies for a state driver’s license or renewal, permit, or state I.D. card, is automatically registered. This law became effective on May 16th, 2005.

The law doesn’t require women to register. Selective Service law refers specifically to “male persons” in stating who must register and who will be drafted. The only way women would be required to register is if Congress would have to amend the law.

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